Tools of the Trade Checklist

  • Plastic or metal trays greater than 8” x 11”—available at neighborhood discount stores
  • Denture Brush—available at the neighborhood discount store
  • Dental Picks—available from science supply companies
  • 10X Magnifying Loop—available from science supply companies
  • Paper glue (Elmer’s or similar)—Available at office supply stores
  • Clean quartz sand—Available at science supply stores
  • Small containers—Available at neighborhood discount stores
  • Animal Diversity Web - http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu
  • Bone Atlases - see list below
  • Sliding calipers—available at your local hardware store or through science supply companies
  • Permits to collect road kill and migratory birds – if required by your local government
  • Stereomicroscope or digital microscope for viewing taphonomic signatures at 50X magnification–available at science supply stores, electronics stores, or a science classroom

    Recommended Bone Atlases

    Mammals

  • Mammal Remains from Archaeological Sites (Olsen 1964)
  • Atlas of Animal Bones (Schmid 1972)
  • Mammalian Zooarchaeology, Alaska (Smith 1979)
  • A Key to the Postcranial Skeletal Remains of Cattle/Bison, Elk, and Horse (Brown and Gustafson 1979)
  • An Osteology of Some Maya Mammals (Olsen 1982)
  • A Guide to Post-Cranial Bones of East African Animals (Walker 1985)
  • The Osteology of the South American Camelids (Pacheco Torres et al. 1986)
  • Mammalian Osteology (Gilbert 1990)
  • Teeth (Hillson 1990)
  • Illustrated Key to Skulls of Genera of North American Land Mammals (Jones and Manning 1992)
  • Skulls and Bones: A Guide to the Skeletal Structures and Behavior of North American Mammals (Seafross 1995)
  • Mammal Bones and Teeth: An Introductory Guide to Methods of Identification (Hillson 1996)

    Fish

  • Fish, Amphibian, and Reptile Remains from Archaeological Sites (Olsen 1968)
  • Marine Fish Osteology: A Manual for Archaeologists (Cannon 1987)

    Birds

  • Mexican Macaws. Comparative Osteology and Survey of Remains from the Southwest (Hargrave 1970)
  • Osteology for the Archaeologist (Olsen 1979)
  • A Manual for the Identification of Bird Bones from Archaeological Sites (Cohen and Serjeantson 1996)
  • Avian Osteology (Gilbert et al. 1996)
  • Identification of Waterfowl Breastbones and Avian Osteology (Sterna) of North American Anseriformes (Oates et al. 2003)

    Amphibians

  • Fish, Amphibian, and Reptile Remains from Archaeological Sites (Olsen 1968)

    Reptiles

  • Osteology of the Reptiles (Romer 1956)
  • Fish, Amphibian, and Reptile Remains from Archaeological Sites (Olsen 1968)
  • A Turtle Atlas to Facilitate Archaeological Identification (Sobolik and Steele 1996)

    Bone Atlas Full References

  • Brown, C. L., and C. E. Gustafson. 1979. A Key to Postcranial Skeletal Remains of Cattle/Bison, Elk, and Horse. Reports of investigations; no. 57. Pullman: Laboratory of Anthropology Washington State University.
  • Cannon, D. Y. 1987. Marine Fish Osteology: A Manual for Archaeologists. Burnaby, BC: Archaeology Press, Simon Fraser University.
  • Cohen, A., and D. Serjeantson. 1996. A Manual for the Identification of Bird Bones from Archaeological Sites. London: Archetype Publications.
  • Gilbert, B. M. 1990. Mammalian Osteology. Columbia: Missouri Archaeological Society.
  • Gilbert, B. M., L. D. Martin, and H. G. Savage. 1996. Avian Osteology. Columbia: Missouri Archaeological Society.
  • Hargrave, L. L. 1970. Mexican Macaws: Comparative Osteology and Survey of Remains from the Southwest. Anthropological papers of the University of Arizona; No. 20. Tucson: University of Arizona Press.
  • Hillson, S. 1990. Teeth. Cambridge Manuals in Archaeology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Hillson, S. 1996. Mammal Bones and Teeth: An Introductory Guide to Methods of Identification. London: Institute of Archaeology, University College.
  • Jones, J. K., and R. W. Manning. 1992. Illustrated Key to Skulls of Genera of North American Land Mammals. Lubbock: Texas Tech University Press.
  • Oates, D. W., E. D. Boyd, and J. S. Ramaekers. 2003. Identification of Waterfowl Breastbones and Avian Osteology (Sterna) of North American Anseriformes. Special Publication Number 10. Martinsville: Virginia Museum of Natural History.
  • Olsen, S. J. 1964. Mammal Remains from Archaeological Sites. Papers of the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, v. 56, no. 1. Cambridge, MA: Peabody Museum, Harvard University.
  • Olsen, S. J. 1968. Fish, Amphibian, and Reptile Remains from Archaeological Sites. Papers of the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, vol. 56, no. 2. Cambridge, MA: Peabody Museum, Harvard University.
  • Olsen, S. J. 1979. Osteology for the Archaeologist. Papers of the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, v. 56, nos. 3–5. Cambridge, MA: Peabody Museum, Harvard University.
  • Olsen, S. J. 1982. An Osteology of Some Maya Mammals. Papers of the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, v. 73. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
  • Pacheco Torres, V. R., A. A. Enciso, and E. G. Porras. 1986. The Osteology of the South American Camelids. Archaeological Research Tools Vol. 3. Los Angeles: University of California Institute of Archaeology.
  • Romer, A. S. 1956. Osteology of the Reptiles. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
  • Schmid, E. 1972. Atlas of Animal Bones. For Prehistorians, Archaeologists, and Quaternary Geologists. Amsterdam, NY: Elsevier.
  • Seafross, G. 1995. Skulls and Bones: A Guide to the Skeletal Structures and Behavior of North American Mammals. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books.
  • Serjeantson, D. 2009. Birds. Cambridge Manuals in Archaeology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Smith, G. S. 1979. Mammalian Zooarchaeology, Alaska: A Manual for Identifying and Analyzing Mammal Bones from Archaeological Sites in Alaska. Anthropology and Historic Preservation, Cooperative Park Studies Unit. Occasional Paper No 18. Fairbanks: University of Alaska.
  • Sobolik, K. D., and D. G. Steele.1996. A Turtle Atlas to Facilitate Archaeological Identifications. Mammoth Site of Hot Springs, South Dakota,in conjunction with the Office of Research and Public Services, University of Maine.
  • Walker, R. 1985. A Guide to Post-cranial Bones of East African Animals. Norwich, Eng.: Hylochoerus Press.